This Day in Failure, December 31
2008: Vanderbilt University defeats Boston College 16-14 in the Music City Bowl, the Commodores’ first bowl victory in 53 years.
1993: Teena Brandon and two others are brutally murdered by Thomas Nissen and John Lotter in a remote farmhouse in Humboldt, Nebraska. Brandon’s story serves as inspiration for the movie Boys Don’t Cry, starring Hilary Swank as Teena.
1967: Daredevil Evel Knievel, clad in white-red-and-blue leathers and riding a Triumph T-120 motorcycle, attempts to jump over the ornamental fountains in front of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Knievel comes up just short and lands on a metal plate that had been placed on top of a safety van, causing him to fall off his bike and bounce, flip and roll down the landing ramp. He suffers several broken bones and an injury to his pelvis but the publicity surrounding the accident does wonders for his career.